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Which input tube for a splash of seduction? (Read 30043 times)
Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #105 - 07/25/11 at 17:08:21
 
Will,

PM me with your addy--I'll send you a couple.  I have six and unless something gives I won't be using any!

Very interesting Datman.  Please keep us posted on how you like them in comparison to the BTs.  The BT 6ca7s are the least offensive of the luxury Shuguang tubes (I've disliked most Treasure and Psvanes--I know I'm in the minority) I've tried and they were a step up from the Winged Cs, but I do wonder if in addition to that additional bass impact, it is a more compelling tube.
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« Last Edit: 07/25/11 at 17:09:04 by Gopher »  
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #106 - 07/25/11 at 20:19:48
 
Gopher, PM coming your way.


Ditto datman. Very interesting. I look forward to your comparisons and more final impressions of the JJs once they are burned in.

Though with some sets I like the openness of the OB2, I keep coming back to the OC2 as well.
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« Last Edit: 07/25/11 at 20:20:33 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #107 - 07/26/11 at 19:50:27
 
Will,  

Keep an eye out for them--they're in the mail.

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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #108 - 07/26/11 at 21:08:50
 
Great thanks!
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Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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Gopher
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #109 - 08/10/11 at 15:20:16
 
I had an interesting discovery with those OA3 tubes.  They were frightfully bad when using my Torii without a preamp, but with either a Dodd battery buffer or Shindo Auregies on my Torii, it was a very pleasant change.  

More drive, more tonal density, better bass--no real draw backs, just an even more masculine presentation.  I will be keeping the remaining 4  ;)
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #110 - 08/10/11 at 15:49:35
 
Interesting!  I've been playing around with that rectifier position, and auditioning the following pairs:

the tube the amp came with, a straight sided RCA OA3
a straight sided GE OA3
a coke bottle RCA OA3
two different coke bottle GE OB3
a straight sided RCA OC3

I kindof really like the RCA OC3, but I feel I'm missing out on dynamics that make the music come to life. Of all the others I find I prefer the tube the amp came with, the straight sided RCA OA3.

There's definitely something about RCA rectifiers that I love.

I'm going to revisit this tube rolling in the near future after I feel that my new "front end" is fully broken in. I'm using the PS Audio PerfectWave DAC as a preamp, and I can also use it as a fixed output source and use the Torii volume control. I'm doing the former as the output for Redbook is so loud that if I have the DAC fully out the Torii volume control is so low that there's compression on the signal and the sound is different.  I've quite a range of sound possible with this set up. Heft and weight and detail as I've not ever had before as well.
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #111 - 08/10/11 at 18:33:35
 
Gopher, It is interesting that the signature of a pre/buffer before the Torii works so well with a tube set you did not like on its own. I have been working with Mac Mini tweaks, feet and cables...also auditioning a Music Fidelity V-Link (USB async) between the Mini and the ZDAC-1....AND an opened-box Tranquility NOS DAC in comparison to that. So with tube experimentation it is thick around here with options.

To get clearer comparisons between the two DAC setups, I took out my ZSTAGE as I wanted to hear the new V-Link clearly. And the output of the Tranquility is higher causing distortion through the Zstage without software volume reduction, so A/Bing both with the Stage is cumbersome. I do stick it back in after the ZDAC at times though, but with my current mind frame, the additional tube stage has a little too much signature, so I am inclined to take it back out. With the ZDAC alone, I definitely liked the Zstage.....and I still might once the dust settles, but for now, I prefer the lack of complication.

With a starlight USB cable to the V-Link, and a glass toslink V-Link to ZDAC-1, the sound is very good...comparable in listenability to the Tranquility which is known to be a giant killer, many who have actually compared liking it better than most of the very popular, current production async DACs. The Tranquility excels at micro detail and ambient cues (very good stuff), but so far, the V-Link/ZDAC for me may be bit more musical....a bit more easy to get lost in the music. Maybe..... The interesting thing is that each has great qualities without a clear winner at this point for me.

But relative to this thread, I do find it interesting that the tube stage, with its current cabling and tube is not an absolute improvement for me in at the moment.
Huh


Lon, What a nice group of regulators to explore! It will be good to hear your impressions after you PS front end sorts itself out.
Cool


In thinking about this thread so far, it is interesting to note (as usual) how important the front end is, our power, what the other tubes we are using, the sound of our individual rooms, cables, feet and all.....all the variables that might make a tube preferable in one setup and not in another. But on the other hand, the net effect of these combined posts gives good pointers for exploration.

Within each setup, if changing only one tube type, we can definitely identify characteristic differences between say input tubes...and this is good information.....one tube is drier, tighter, brighter and the other warmer, more textural, more subdued, but open....or whatever. But with the signatures of the combined setup, with particular power tubes, regulators and VRs....the brighter tube might be best with one set, and the warmer one with another. And this does not even consider room, cables, power etc.

But it does point to the comparative characteristics of two tube pairs within the knowledge that the particular synergy we have arrived at has great power too. And the Torii's options for fine tuning tube sets to preferences is amazing. It is cool that we are sorting this stuff out in some conveyable fashion.

Onward!

Will
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Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #112 - 08/10/11 at 18:57:13
 
Will, interesting to hear your explorations of the Tranquility and V-Link.

I'm behind all that you're saying but no other tube combination has yet made me prefer any other input tube than the 6N1P. I think that with an analog front end I might have another opinion, but though I've tried all the other tube types that work in this circuit in different brands. .. that's the one that works in my Torii.

My new front end is amazing me. The i2S connection via HDMI between the Transport and DAC has given me the best sound I've had in my home. I think it's nearly broken in now. Financially, I shouldn't have done it, and I wish I could send it back. . . but it's staying. Smiley I'll probably divest myself of a handful of components over the next months I never thought I would.
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« Last Edit: 08/10/11 at 18:58:16 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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kana813
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #113 - 08/10/11 at 21:51:21
 
Lon,

The PWD needs about 200 hours of break-in.

Surprised you got the PWT. I use the Bridge with a Seagate HD connected to a Netgear WNDR 3700 router, controlled via the eLyric iPad app more than my PWT.

PS- Tried a pair NOS of coke bottle RCA OA3s before I returned the TORII. If someone wants them send me an email.






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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #114 - 08/10/11 at 22:00:36
 
I've got nearly 300 hours on both right now.

I'm very happy to have the Transport. I'm not interested in streaming or computer file audio, didn't want the Bridge, don't have it. I love discs. I don't have an iPad. Or an iPhone.
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« Last Edit: 08/10/11 at 22:26:05 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #115 - 08/11/11 at 01:06:26
 
Lon, it is awesome you found a front end your love more than you beloved Sony! Are you still using the ER's or back to the HR-1s?

Interesting your love of the 6N1P too. I can see that. I tried two kinds of cryo'd 70/80's 6N1Ps and I liked them a lot, but preferred the various NOS 60's mullard, siemens, amperex 6922 and 6DJ8s from a batch of slightly used tubes I was auditioning. So I didn't keep the 6N1Ps. I may not have given them enough time though.

But also I got the coke bottle RCA OA3s with my amp, which sound notably warmer than the no-name straight bottle OA3s Gopher sent me for comparison, so had I had your preferred straight bottle RCAs they might have sent me in a different direction than I went.

Huh


Listening now with the straight OA3s, some 40s RCA coke bottle 5U4Gs (brighter/opener than the 50s ST's) and NOS RFT/Brinmar EL34s, my torii's stock 6N1P sounds pretty damn good. Very warm and textural. But compared to the Mullard CV2492 (6922) pulls I had been using, the Mullards have a similar warmth, and actually similar tonal values altogether, but notably more detail, micro detail and dynamics, leaving a blacker background, a more open/less veiled presentation, and a more defined sound stage. They make the seductive texture of the 6N1P sound a little distorted.

But these are not cryo'd 6N1Ps like yours, and may not be from the same time period or company, so there are possibly variables at play beyond personal tastes. If the warm texture of the 6N1P is characteristic, you may not like these Mullards. Who knows, but for me, though they are interesting tubes, I can't use the particular 6N1Ps I have over any of the many NOS 6922/6DJ8s I have.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 01:06:49 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, TORII MkIV, MorrowAudio SP7 cables, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #116 - 08/11/11 at 01:25:49
 
This PerfectWave combo is a clear step up from the Sony, from the ZDAC-1, and from anything else I've heard in my home or a friend's home. (The last few months I was using the Sony as a transport to feed the ZDAC-1, that component finally seemed to edge out the Sony for most material). The new combo has shown me another level of the Torii and ERR combo. I still have the ERRs in play, I haven't taken them out since that one excursion where I missed them immediately. And they just keep sounding better and better as the front end seasons and opens up.

I know that the memory buffer and the constantly reading of the disc til it has a "perfect" version, as well as the built in Digital Lens has a lot to do with it, removing jitter before the DAC, and I know the I2S connection has a lot to do with it. I remember years ago when Randy was talking about the difference an I2S connection made with his then front end, and I started reading up on that. Anyway, I think the Torii and ERR combo deserves the finest I can afford to put in front of it, and then a fine tune from there, and I think that the PerfectWave combo is not something I really should have bought, but it's doing the system justice. I'm really reveling in sound that I didn't think I'd ever have.

I wouldn't say it's warmth per se or seduction with the 6N1P, it's just the tube type that sounds "right" for this machine and the material I listen to; it may even be a bit of "occlusion," allowing the flaws of so much of the material to be less obvious. I've heard a lot of really good 6922s, but just moving to that tube type puts me in a sonic field that is "less right" for me, and that seems to be regardless of rectifier and output tube combinations too. C.E. has also seemed to find himself locked in with this tube type. I've a few spares and I should probably look for some more possible different brands and makes.

I listened to a disc today that has always sounded a bit thin and harsh to me before and it sounded perfect today. And I put in another disc that always seemed a bit muddy and thick before. Today it sounded perfect. Smiley What's going on?  It's weird, but welcome. I think that I'm very close to another long period of just sitting back and listening to the music.

On the flipside, I'm enjoying change in my bedroom system as well. I put my Integrated back in place of the Torii Mk II in there, and am enjoying the subtle differenced the SET nature there makes (and the lower power, I don't need all that Torii power in that room). And I've added the ZDAC-1, then taken it out, the CSP2, then taken it out, the ZBOX, then taken it out, etc. Everything is in a bit of chaos now, but I'll have the best sound going on soon, and relaxing into it.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 01:35:13 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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will
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #117 - 08/11/11 at 01:55:26
 
Lon' It sounds like you have reached your goal of a system synergy that plays anything in a way that sounds beautiful. Bravo! It has been interesting to follow in your comments....the PS power regen unit, then the ERRs, and finally the PS front end. Sounds awesome.

I get the "occlusion" thing with the 6N1P too, but I suspect the particular one you are using is a better tube than the one I have as well. I think I recall Voshod, Anod, and Reflectors as name brands and EV or plain, and then the cryo thing and time period of production. So really, it seems there are a lot of 6N1Ps out there. Do you recall where you got yours and what they are exactly?
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Lon
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #118 - 08/11/11 at 02:02:06
 
I never had any firm information about what these were as far as brand and factory. So it's a wide-open field out there.

I just know that no 6922 has sounded right to me, I have tried enough to not want to try another. So it's looking into 6N1Ps for me, in time.

I'm really close. Actually the progression I believe was: finding the right families of power cords (PS Audio xStream SC and PerfectWave AC), the ERRs, the Power Plant Permier: that gave me controlled power and great speakers. We know the Torii is such a great heart of a system. That left me open for the front end. These Decware products really are ripe for the best front end anyone can put in front of them. I totally get those that devote a turntable to the system. That just doesn't offer the right "software" for me. So I've had to be looking at digital. I'm not interested in computer files as a source, I've tried it, my heart just doesn't move out towards it, I know when to admit defeat there. The PerfectWave combo seems to be the right move for me to get through to the next decade. We'll see if I can go into another period of happy listening and viewing. I think I can.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/11 at 02:02:49 by Lon »  

Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+(2),Torii Mk III, PS Audio PWT+PWD MkII,PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100, Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable IC: Evo and UL, Mapleshade:Double Heiix Samsonv2+v3 and 4"platforms,Herbie's IsoCups+Tendft
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C.E.
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Re: Which input tube for a splash of seduction?
Reply #119 - 08/11/11 at 03:16:41
 
Hi All,

I've run through a BUNCH of combinations of input tubes, regulators, and rectifiers...and FWIW here's my final Torii tube combo I'm using and why:

(Background...I'm using a computer driven source. Macbook Pro to a homemade DAC with TDA1541A chip and tube output stage. I've got a subwoofer and a seperate pair of satellites. The sub has a seperate plate amp with phase, crossover, and volume control. My listening space tends to be VERY bright and I'm limited on acoustic treatments. My Torii was purchased a year ago and has V-Caps with upgraded attenuator. It came with the Winged C EL34's.)

Input tubes...I've settled on some 1970's 6N1P's. Warm layered sound, great soundstage, and vocal/instrument timbre. The other tubes were all good contenders; National 7DJ8, Amperex 6DJ8, 6N23P, and some 6922's. Everything was back to stock when I rolled the input tubes. All of the tubes tubes I tried were good conteners but they all seemed to "shove" different things at me that didn't sound right. The 6N1P's had the best balance and warmth.

Rectifier...I confess I cheated on this a bit. I called Steve during the 1100 hour (hair pulling) break-in period last year and asked him which (if any tube) he would roll. After a long pause he said if he had to swap any tube it would be the rectifiers. IF he were to swap. He thought the supplied tubes were/are that good. I took the advice and got some 1940's RCA's and have been tickled ever since. Just to make the simple more complex, I got some 1960's Svetlana 5U3C's. Still like the RCA's more. They're more "rich" sounding.

Compared 0B2 and 0C2. Loved the 0C2.

I then got a set of each of the 0A3, 0B3, 0C3, and 0D3. This was the final step. I settled on the 0D3's. My speakers have a "resistorless crossover" and I feel that with the bright room acoustics, the 0D3's place the proper emphasis on everything. Most people will find the 0A3, 0B3, and 0C3 to their liking I suspect.

So.....here's my humble opinion on the order of tube rolling:

1. Buy some NOS rectifiers. No brainer.

2. Use the 0C2 and roll input tubes. Settle on the sonic signature that fits your source and musical tastes.

3. Try different tubes in the 0X3 family. They will ALL make the amp sound different. But the sonic signature will remain constant.

Good listening to all. This amp is truly magical.









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Mac Mini (Amarra)>DIY (TDA 1541A, Ian FIFO) USB Dac (Tube Output)>Torii III(V-Caps, Attenuator)>Zen Styx>C3-L Monitors/Model H Sub (plate amp)
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